Concerns grow over Saudi-Iranian rising tensions

Updated: 2016-01-05 10:17


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China voiced concern Monday over the dispute between Iran and Saudi Arabia, calling on both countries to practice self-restraint.

"China is paying close attention to the developing situation, and is concerned over escalating regional conflict resulting from the dispute," said Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying at a press briefing.

"We hope all concerned parties can boost anti-terrorism dialogue and cooperation. We also hope the security and dignity of diplomats and missions can be ensured," Hua said.

She called on both sides to control themselves, show restraint and properly resolve disputes through dialogue and consultations in order to maintain regional peace and stability.

In response to the calls, Iranian Foreign Ministry Spokesman, Hossein Jaber Ansari, said Monday that Iran is not interested in causing tensions with Saudi Arabia.

"The Islamic republic has no interest in tension and conflict neither in its domestic nor international policies, and has no intent in having tense relations with Saudi Arabia," Jaber Ansari said in his weekly press conference.

Jaber Ansari said the Islamic republic respects international conventions and protects diplomats and diplomatic missions.

He added that with respect to the attacks on the Saudi mission in Iran, Iranian police and judiciary have done their best to control the situation and officially deal with the perpetrators.

However, "Although everything was under control and there was no threat against Saudi diplomats in Iran, the Saudi government decided to sever ties," he said.

Tehran's Prosecutor General, Abbas Jafari Dolatabadi, said Sunday that police forces arrested 40 protestors who raided the Saudi embassy in Tehran Saturday, and that the judiciary issued orders to identify and arrest all others involved in the raid.

The Iranian spokesman said Saudi Arabia's current rhetoric versus Iran and its alleged support of regional extremist groups will only serve to further isolate Riyadh.

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